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Defense motions for accused murder of Chicago teen to be heard

Jim McPherson

Jim McPherson

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Updated: January 18, 2014 6:14AM

Three defense motions for accused murderer Jim McPherson of North Chicago, including one to disallow gunshot residue found on his hand as evidence, will be heard Feb. 10 and 11.

The hearing dates were set Monday for McPherson, 21, who is accused of committing Lake County’s first murder of 2013 by shooting 18-year-old Janay McFarlane of Chicago in a North Chicago alley Feb. 15.

His trial date on first-degree murder charges is scheduled Feb. 18.

McPherson’s attorney, James Schwarzbach, has also filed motions to quash evidence in the case related to a search of the defendant’s parents’ home, a motion to quash his arrest and a motion to bar the testimony of two witnesses who were with the victim and identified McPherson as being in the alley.

Authorities said McPherson was inside John’s Liquor Store and Mini Mart Feb. 15 when McFarlane, who was in town visiting family, and some friends walked into the store. According to a witness, McPherson “stared Janay down” before she left the store to walk back to a friend’s home.

McPherson allegedly then left the store and got into a car his brother drove, and was dropped off at the intersection of 13th and Victoria streets. Witnesses reported hearing shots in that vicinity.

McFarlane was found with a gunshot wound to the head in an alley in the 1300 block of Jackson Street. She died at the scene, prosecutors said, and a witness observed the defendant running away.

Her death coincided with a visit by the president to Chicago to discuss gun violence.

Hours before McFarlane was shot, her then 14-year-old sister, Destini, sat near President Barack Obama when he spoke about the gun violence plaguing the nation and Chicago.

If convicted of the first-degree murder charges, McPherson faces 45 to 85 years in prison.

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